Rep. García Votes to Decriminalize Cannabis and Reinvest in Communities Adversely Affected by the War on Drugs
Washington, DC - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) issued the following statement after voting for H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act:
“For too long, the federal government has pursued drug policies that disproportionately target and incarcerate Black and Latino individuals. Families and communities have been torn apart and lives derailed for minor charges like cannabis possession. The MORE Act is a step toward restorative justice and away from the over-policing of our communities.
“The MORE Act helps undo damage inflicted by the failed, racist war on drugs. It makes previously jailed individuals eligible for educational, financial, and employment opportunities currently unavailable to them by clearing low-level cannabis offenses from their record. The bill also changes the way the government categorizes cannabis, allowing states to set their own laws without federal interference.
“While Black and Latino communities have been disproportionately targeted by the war on drugs, they are also severely underrepresented in ownership and operation of cannabis businesses. The MORE Act creates a grant program to promote racial and economic equity in the cannabis industry. As this industry grows in states like Illinois, we must ensure that Black and Latino entrepreneurs have equal opportunity to participate.
“Decriminalizing cannabis confronts racism at the center of our nation’s drug policy, gives individuals a second chance, and creates an opportunity for our communities to thrive.”